Elucidation of the fibrous structure of Musaceae maturate rachis

Piedad Gañán, Robin Zuluaga, Javier Cruz, Juan M. Vélez, Aloña Retegi, Iñaki Mondragon

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    14 Scopus citations


    In the last years several composites and high performance materials with woody and non-woody natural fibers have been developed. In this study, a morphological study of agricultural residues as rachis from Musaceae plants cultivated in Colombia has been carried out. Fibrous structures as fiber bundles, elementary or ultimate fibers and even cellulose microfibrils grouped together into microfibril bundles have been observed. Both biological retting and chemical procedures like alkali treatments combined with alkaline peroxide and acid addition have been used. Different microscopic techniques as optical (OM), confocal (CM), scanning electron (SEM), and atomic force (AFM) ones have been used for analysis of isolated samples. A hierarchical arrangement from conducting tissues and fiber bundles to cellulose microfibrils in Musaceae rachis has been noted. All of these structures can be isolated by biological and chemical processes at the corresponding arrangement level. This means that Musaceae rachises constitute a source of new interesting biodegradable raw materials with multiple possibilities in dimensions and morphologies for several industries. A strong presence of crystal structures exists on fiber surfaces, being their occurrence related to the maturate state of rachis samples. Additionally, a top-down scheme is proposed for understanding the structuration of rachis at each length scale.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-139
    Number of pages9
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank to Colciencias for the financial support that has made this research work possible.


    • Agricultural residues
    • Cellulose microfibrils
    • Fiber bundles
    • Fibrous structure
    • Hierarchical arrangement
    • Morphology
    • Musaceae plants


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